These 4 Gay Couples Found Love on Hornet. Here Are Their Stories.
In honor of Valentine’s Day, we’d like to shine a spotlight on four international Hornet couples — eight guys who happened to find “the one” in this digital age by using Hornet, the world’s gay social network. With over 30 million users worldwide, the man of your dreams could be just a click away!
Are you part of a Hornet couple? If so, we want to hear your story, too! Reach out to us via social media (Facebook, Twitter, Insta) or contact one of our editors through the app!
Here are four international Hornet couples and their stories:
1. Ben and Epiphann, Paris
This couple, who has called Paris home for many years now, has Hornet (and Epiphann’s boss!) to thank for bringing them together.
“I met Ben two months after I moved from Normandy to Paris,” Epiphann says. “As someone who just moved alone to a big city and with very few friends, having an online app really helped me meet new people. I’m a hair stylist, so having connections is an important way to get more clients. One day, my boss took over my phone and decided to download and install Hornet. She uploaded several pictures to create a profile for me while I was working with a client, and that’s how I met Ben, the love of my life.”
When the two met, it had only been about a year since Ben had moved to Paris from Seattle, for a job promotion. “Not knowing the language made it difficult to meet people,” says Ben, “so online apps with Google Translate was a good way to reach people who I otherwise would have had difficulty meeting in person, and that’s how I met my Epiphann.”
Being two guys of different cultures — and languages, as Ben’s first language is Chinese — communication at first was tricky. Ben says, “When we first met, Epiphann barely spoke English, and at times we’d use Google Translate to understand each other. But as we spent more time together, his English improved (not so much my French, though!), and since we were in love we started to understand each other—sometimes without even speaking.”
That easy communication eventually led to wedding bells, as the guys got engaged in June 2014. “Epiphann proposed to me on a dinner cruise when it passed by the Eiffel Tower,” says Ben. “You might say it’s cliché, but it was the most romantic proposal ever! He reached out to my Chinese friends in the U.S. so they could teach him how to propose in Chinese.”
After the proposal, the guys went through two years of prep for the big day, allowing friends to save up for the trip, and also so Ben could do the most difficult of tasks — come out to his parents! “It was the most difficult phone call I’ve ever made,” Ben says, “but I felt much better after. They have accepted me for who I am, and they’re happy that I’m married.”
The wedding went great, except for one small hitch — “We couldn’t find the wedding bands when we arrived at the wedding venue, 30 minutes before the start of the ceremony! The only task I was assigned was to carry the wedding bands, and I lost them,” Ben says. “We both panicked, but luckily it turned out that our close friends have the same wedding bands as us, so we took their rings to use during the ceremony. You’ve gotta have something borrowed for the wedding, right?”
The wedding was a memorable one, as the guys had asked their best friend to perform the ceremony with a personal speech, after which Ben read his vows in French and Epiphann read his in English. Everyone danced and celebrated until 5 in the morning. (And don’t worry — the rings were ultimately found!)
Ben and Epiphann have enjoyed their life together in Paris, where they feel things are quite open for gays, and same-sex couples are “quite accepted.” But eventually they opted for a change of scenery, settling down in the United States — Seattle, Washington, where they would be closer to Ben’s family and friends.
These guys are just one of many Hornet couples who have the app to thank for bringing them together. “We love that Hornet is more than just an app for meeting people,” says Epiphann. “It also include social events, news and travel information that gives us more insight into what’s happening in the gay community around us.”
2. Teo and Emanuel, Mexico City
Another Hornet couple with the app to thank for bringing them together, these guys live in Mexico City, where Teo works in social media and is a well-known YouTuber (check out “Pepe y Teo” here), and Emanuel works in insurance and is a professional dancer.
Teo, 28, and Emanuel, 31, met on Hornet a year ago. “We talked a bit over a month on the app,” says Teo. “We got along pretty well and decided we should meet in person.”
“At first we thought it was gonna be casual, but we got to know each other better and feelings began to grow for one another,” says Emanuel. “So we started dating to see where this was gonna take us. Before we knew it we fell in love and decided to become a couple … and we’ve been together ever since.”
(Teo says Emanuel is an “old romantic,” which is why they make such a cute couple.)
The guys’ time together has seen the occasional hiccup like any couple, but their relationship is going strong. “We’ve overcome them all by basing our relationship in communication and love,” says Teo, “understanding that every struggle we face only brings us closer and makes us stronger together.”
Both Teo and Emanuel continue to use Hornet, like many guys who have already found “the one.”
“We both had some good experiences with the app, and ultimately we ended up meeting through it, so we’re glad it exists,” says Emanuel.
“It gives you the opportunity to meet really special men who might be looking for the same thing as you are,” Teo adds. “To make real connections.”
3. João and Pascal, Amsterdam
For several years now, João and Pascal have called the Netherlands home, and while Pascal hails from the country’s southern region, João is actually from São Paolo, Brazil. After a couple years of searching for a place in Amsterdam, this Hornet couple finally made the big move and love their new home!
The guys met back in 2013, during João’s first time in Amsterdam. “It was an introspective trip, and I wasn’t in the mood to meet anyone — until I realized that it was Pride week and the city was packed,” he says. “Four days before I had to leave back to São Paulo, I decided to open my apps and check who was around my hotel area. I saw this hot tattooed guy — I’ve always had a thing for them — nearby on Hornet and decided to send him a wink. He replied immediately with ‘Hey sexy.’”
“I think we chatted for two hours before he invited me to his room,” says Pascal. “We spent the next four days basically only talking and getting to know each other. We figured right away there was a special connection between us.”
“So it was only a couple of hours before I had to leave for the airport when we realized we hadn’t even had sex and we were already making plans for our future together,” says João. “I went back to Brazil completely flabbergasted, trying to understand what had happened, realizing I had to do something about what I was feeling, and gladly Pascal was going through the same. We spoke several times a day by texting, and a couple times a week via Skype.”
“In November he came back to spend two weeks with me to be sure that sparkle was really there, and after those amazing weeks we decided to call ourselves a couple,” Pascal says. “In January 2014 we decided João would come to the Netherlands for good.”
Wedding bells were in the cards for these guys, too, and they got married in March 2016 — the day they both call the happiest of their lives. The ceremony took place in a historical building in the center of Naarden, a medieval town, and all their closest friends and family were present (with a live stream to João’s friends in Brazil).
Like our other Hornet couples, Pascal and João continue to use the app, and they actually have a profile together, which they use to meet guys interested in dating couples. “It’s actually cool that you see new faces on Hornet that aren’t on the other apps,” says João. “It’s also nice that we can search for guys in other cities.”
Hornet will always hold a special place in these guys’ hearts — and their skin! João approached a tattoo artist friend from Brazil to sketch a tattoo commemorating how they met, which is how both guys ended up with a large hornet on their arms. “We asked if she’d make a small interpretation of the Hornet logo, as we wanted to have it tattooed somewhere on our upper arms, but she came up with such an amazing drawing that we realized it was too beautiful to have it done small,” Pascal says. “So it became a main piece in both our arms.”
4. Rafael and Luiz, São Paulo, Brazil
This Hornet couple, based in Brazil, met through the app two years ago. But it almost didn’t happen at all!
“It all started with some flirting and shared pictures, but things didn’t progress fast because neither of us was very responsive at the time,” says Rafa.
“But a couple of months later, he asked me on a date and we went out for dinner at a Japanese restaurant. Conversation was good, and we learned that we had a lot in common — besides mutual physical attraction. For him, he says it was love at first sight, but I can’t say the same! Luiz kept flirting and asking me out, and every time we met was better than the last.”
As anyone who’s in a new relationship can attest, you learn a lot about your new partner while you’re far from home. Knowing that, Rafa says he put his newfound relationship with Luiz to the test … by inviting him on a trip to India for three weeks! Obviously, the trip was a success for their budding relationship.
“Spending such a good time together gave me the confirmation I needed to make the relationship official, and we have been a couple since then!” Rafa says.
We love that even though Rafa and Luiz aren’t in an open relationship, there’s no worries about Rafa staying on the app, where he’s actually one of Hornet’s Featured Guys. “I initially paused my Hornet account,” Rafa says, “but because he said he wasn’t jealous of it and understood Hornet was a social network, I decided to come back. We are not in an open relationship, but I made a lot of friends and had lots of fun on the app, so I wanted to keep my profile.”
(Rafa actually has a funny story about choosing to stay on the app during their relationship: “At some point, someone ‘reported’ me to Luiz, showing evidence that I was still on the app — which caused him to laugh and say that he was aware and that this wasn’t a problem.”)
Asked if he has any tips for potential new Hornet couples out there, here’s what advice Rafa had to give: “Our tip to stand out in the crowd and win someone’s heart is to treat that person like there is no one else in the app. Be creative, instead of using the same pickup lines. Technology is an enabler of relationships, but we should never forget that there are real people behind the profiles and that they want to feel special.”